We ran some flow tests using three nozzles: our standard SM-30F, a 15/16" SB and a Vindicator Heavy Attack. The Vindicator was the easiest to handle at all flows, flowed more than the others and the stream was great above 150 gpm.
Automatic fog (SM-30) was slightly more difficult to control at the same flow as the SB, reach was the same. We like the SB and the Vindicator for flow and simplicity. Two moving parts and large orifices are harder to screw up.
On the penetration issue I think that inside small or average PD's this is rarely an issue. But larger areas and higher heat allows the air currents to strip away more of the stream before it arrives on target when comparing fog to a solid stream.
Why do we even need automatic nozzles? Shouldn't we set a minimum flow for our lines and base our pump ops around that? It seems the spring may make the pattern better at flows above or below the target, but why are we outside the target range? I guess throttling up to gain some gpm is never a bad option, though.
Hey guys, fairly new to the group. I have been a FF for 5 years. I have very little real structure fire experience due to very few fires in my area. I have been to many live training burns (controlled scenario), burn trailers, hose management and nozzle Hand On Training, read through articles and watched videos.
Everywhere I go I get different responses: some feel like going to smooth bore is suicide due to inability of "left to live," while others swear by smooth bore and think all things can and will go wrong with an automatic. I have only met a handful of people that are completely neutral on what nozzle they use.
To support the original topic of this conversation. Does anyone have legitimate experience of an automatic consistently being unable to put out a fire? Or has anyone needed an automatic for protection and was killed or severely burned because they had a smooth bore.
After listening to a lot of jaw j****** back and forth, I have never heard of a serious event that occurred or someone that has died with the sole factor being they had one or the other.
Does it really matter? It seems like a few test burns at a variety of size fires and types of structures would be able to solve this issue. If I had the resources to pull off a full scale comparison I would, but I don't. Maybe a job for the Mythbusters!
I'd love to see legitimate evidence for one or the other. Please post links if you have them!!
For whatever its worth, I spent my entire career (28 years) with a ton of fires using automatic nozzles and did not have one problem with nozzle malfunction.
I believe every tool has a use, and if you only have one tool in your tool box you don't have a very effective or capable tool box. I have used both automatics and smooth bore nozzles depending on the Officer I am working with or whether I am at work or with my vollie dept.. And, they both do their job. If we are operating off of a standpipe, there is no doubt that I want that smooth bore in my hand for reasons of debris and ability to work at lower operating pressures. The automatics give you options for other types of firefighting activities, we do not respond only to interior structure fires, we respond to multiple types of fires and incidents that the automatic nozzle is perfect for, i.e. vehicle fires, protection lines during extrications or during gas line breaks. We have a major oil refinery in our vollie district, the automatic is a necessity to capture a fire on a pump to shut down a valve. Every tool has its use and having just one tool really limits your ability to do your job. Just my opinion.
I agree. This has been beaten to death. But, I must tell you that in Salt Lake City a majority of our Engines have one 200' preconnect with a smooth bore and one with an adjustable flow nozzle. It is the Officer's decision on which one is pulled. We had a job last night and I ordered the forward cross lay pulled. It was the adjustable fog nozzle. Reach and penetration were not an issue so we hit it with that. Every job varies. EGH.
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